Dear Friends and Colleagues,
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DDAM), a month-long celebration of people with and without developmental disabilities coming together to form inclusive communities where everyone is appreciated for their unique abilities. This year’s national theme is “Worlds Imagined,” a recognition of our changing world as we move beyond the pandemic and explore new and ever-changing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. This March, we want to celebrate the ways that people with developmental disabilities contribute to and are part of the fabric of their communities.
Throughout this month, OPWDD will be focusing on advances in service delivery and supports that are helping to break down some of the barriers that, in the past, have prevented the people with developmental disabilities from achieving their goals. We know that innovation can help empower people to live as independently as possible to meet their personal goals. The pandemic taught us just how important creativity and flexibility can be in supporting people and that’s why we’ll also be highlighting some of the ways our providers pivoted to deliver services at a time when the usual way of doing things simply wasn’t an option.
By showcasing some of the innovations happening at OPWDD, among our service providers and other organizations, we hope to educate and inspire our fellow New Yorkers and explore how innovations in our field will enable people with developmental disabilities to continue to reach new heights.
I’ll also be visiting innovative programs this month to help lend my support to the excellent work that is being done in the field, as well as meeting some of the people we support who benefit from this work. We hope you’ll follow along with us this month on social media to read about these innovations.
Let’s celebrate all the ways we’re breaking down barriers this Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and supporting people to dream big and achieve their goals. Sincerely,
Kerri E. Neifeld